Cost of Dharavi sports complex rose from Rs 8cr to Rs 21 cr in 3 yrs
In what seems to be a blatant misuse of public money, the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) will end up paying Rs13 crore extra to a private contractor for building a sports complex in Dharavi.mumbai Updated: Mar 30, 2012 02:10 IST
In what seems to be a blatant misuse of public money, the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) will end up paying Rs13 crore extra to a private contractor for building a sports complex in Dharavi. The complex, according to MMRDA’s own estimates, should have been built for Rs8.25 crore. MMRDA officials claim the three-fold increase in cost is due to additional facilities. But documents provided by the agency show this to be untrue.
The sports complex in question is coming up opposite the Mahim Nature Park. The project was initiated at the behest of MP Eknath Gaikwad. When construction started in June 2009, the estimated cost for the complex was Rs8.25 crore. However, 33 months later, the cost has nearly tripled and now stands at Rs21 crore. The sports complex was supposed to be ready by January 2011. It is now slated to be operational in May.
As the project got delayed, the cost kept escalating. In August, the project cost was revised to Rs10 crore, then to Rs16.65 crore in March 2011, and has now finally been pegged at Rs21 crore.
Several MMRDA projects, including the Santa Cruz-Chembur Link Road and the Sahar elevated project have been under-construction for over six years and have faced cost overruns. However, the tripling of the cost of the Dharavi sports complex, which has been under construction for only 30 months, has raised several eyebrows.
MMRDA officials claim that the cost escalation has been due to the provisioning of new facilities in the stadium. However, documents issued by the MMRDA show that the services to be available in the new complex are similar to what the MMRDA announced when it started the project.
"There have been cost escalations. However, we have also added new facilities to the stadium, which have led to the cost increase," metropolitan commissioner Rahul Asthana said.
MMRDA officials now claim that the complex will be ready by May.
"After the complex is ready, we will hand it over to the district sports and youth welfare department of the state government, and they will run and maintain the complex," joint project director Dilip Kawathkar said.